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Report on Torture, Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment of Prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. (Allaithy)

In July 2006, The New York Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) published its Report on Torture, Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment of Prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. This report is based on accounts drawn directly from habeas counsels’ unclassified notes reflecting prisoner statements made to counsel during in-person interviews conducted at Guantánamo beginning in the Fall of 2004. Some information for that report was taken also from public sources compiled in Cecili Thompson Williams & Kristine A. Huskey, Detention, Interrogation, and Torture at Guantánamo Bay: Materials and Case Files, a report published by the law firm of Shearman and Sterling LLP in October 2005. The testimony by or about Mr. Sami Abdul Aziz Salim Allaithy in the CCR report can be found below.

(CCR22) Though a healthy man when taken into U.S. custody, Mr. Al-Laithi is now confined to a wheelchair with two broken vertebrae. He attributes his current infirmity to severe beatings that he received soon after arriving at GTMO. “Once they stomped my back,” Al-Laithi wrote [in an affidavit filed recently with the district court]. “An MP threw me on the floor, and they lifted me up and slammed me back down. A doctor said I have two broken vertebrae and I risk being paralyzed if the spinal cord is injured more.” Al-Laithi said his neck is also permanently damaged because IRF teams repeatedly forced him to bend over toward his knees. While many prisoners have had their anuses probed during strip searches, Mr. Al-Laithi also alleges that the military forced a large object into his anus on the pretext of doing a medical exam. “I am in constant pain,” he continued. “I would prefer to be buried alive than continue to receive the treatment I receive. At least I would suffer less and die.” A military spokesperson indicates that the military takes no responsibility for Mr. Al-Laithi’s condition, saying that the fractured vertebrae are the result of a degenerative disease (Center for Constitutional Rights 2006, 20f).

Primary Source

Carol D. Leonnig “Guantánamo Detainee Says Beating Injured Spine”. Washington Post, August 13, 2005, page A18.


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